Amber Rudd resigns as UK Home Secretary

Lucy Bush
May 1, 2018

The resignation of Home Secretary Amber Rudd came after documents leaked in the British press showed that she set a target to increase the number of deportations by 10 percent, despite her denials.

Many in the British media and online have suggested the resignation is indicative of a government on the verge of collapsing.

They and many subsequent Commonwealth immigrants had an automatic right to settle in the U.K. But some have now been denied housing, jobs or medical treatment because of requirements that employers and doctors check people's immigration status.

His replacement as Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, gets Mrs May another ultra-loyalist into the Cabinet after the departure of "human shield" Ms Rudd, who will now be watched closely to see if she sides with Remainer rebels or causes immigration headaches for the PM.

Theresa May has defended targets for the removal of illegal immigrants as she confirmed the practice was in place when she was home secretary. May said she accepted that Rudd had spoken "in good faith" and was sorry to see her resign.

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Those affected are known as the "Windrush generation" after the ship Empire Windrush, which in 1948 brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to a Britain seeking nurses, railway workers and others to help it rebuild after the devastation of World War II.

The issue of removals targets was raised as part of the Home Affairs Committee's inquiry into the Windrush children, who came to the United Kingdom legally in the 1950s and 1960s but have since been threatened with deportation or denied access to public services because of uncertainty about their immigration status.

On the Windrush Scandal, Javid told the Sunday Telegraph: "I was really concerned when I first started hearing and reading about some of the issues".

In response to an urgent question from Labour, he told MPs: "I myself am a second generation migrant". My parents came to this country... just like the Windrush generation.

Asked what he would do differently, Mr Javid replied: 'I've only had about seven hours in this department but I will let him know.' Ms Abbott demanded he restore the protection against deportation for Commonwealth citizens abolished by the 2014 Immigration Act.

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Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver whose family migrated to Britain in the 1960s, was promoted from his Cabinet post of Communities, Local Government and Housing minister. But at the same time, ultimately believed "that Britain is better off in (the EU)". He was Business Secretary in the previous government of David Cameron.

Rudd was a strong supporter for staying in the bloc, and Javid will now replace her on key cabinet committees that will help decide the future of Britain's relationship with the European Union ahead of Brexit day in March 2019.

But in recent years, successive British governments have sought to appear tough on illegal immigration, and their descendants are now struggling to prove a citizenship status they previously took for granted.

"That's why I am so personally committed and invested to resolving the difficulties faced by the people of the Windrush generation, who have built their lives here and contributed so much".

Rudd's resignation may weaken Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

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